Back in December, Philip Rivers had hinted retirement talks. And now, the veteran quarterback fulfills that hint, closing a 17-year long chapter in the NFL.
Finishing his final professional career season with the Indianapolis Colts, the Los Angeles Chargers legend confirmed his retirement on Tuesday night and plans to become a high school coach.
“It’s just time,” Philip Rivers told San Diego Union-Tribune, “It’s just right. . . . I can sit here and say, ‘I can still throw it. I love to play.’ But that’s always going to be there. I’m excited to go coach high school football.”
St. Sebastian’s Feast day: The perfect date for Philip Rivers to retire
In late December 2020, Rivers suggested that the Jacksonville Jaguars fixture could be his last NFL game. However, the QB played in the Wild Card Round against Buffalo Bills, completing 27 of 46 passes, covering 309 passing yards with two passing TDs and that was the last time the world had seen Rivers on the pitch.
Moreover, the 39-year-old confirmed to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that he was waiting until 20th January to announce it publicly, on the special occassion of the Roman Catholic Church’s feast day for St. Sebastian.
“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day,” Rivers was quoted by ESPN, “It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League.”
Rivers, who made his NFL debut as a 2004 draft pick for Chargers, recalled his championship clash against New England Patriots, that too, after undergoing a surgery that removed the ACL in his right knee.
“Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL,” the veteran added.
An astounding eight time Pro Bowler, Rivers has completed 5,261 passes, while covering 63,276 passing yards and 208 interceptions in 243 career games. Rivers has also clocked 421 career touchdown passes, the fifth highest ever in the NFL, behind Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.